Facebook news feed changes could affect your business's post engagement

The social media giant wants to frontload meaningful content, and that means deranking user frustrations like clickbait, misleading posts, and over-the-top headlines.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • Facebook is changing how it filters newsfeeds, which could affect how, and if, your business's posts are seen.
  • Facebook has introduced a snooze mode that can hide pages and users for 30 days, another way in which your metrics could suffer if users aren't happy with your content.

Facebook recently took the time to explain why and how it's changing the news feed to make social media more meaningful—but its strategies could have a negative impact on business engagement.

Social media, the article said, can be detrimental to personal well-being when it is passively consumed rather than actively engaged with. To that end, Facebook has plans to frontload posts and shares from "friends you care about most," while demoting things like clickbait headlines and fake news.

Even if your business doesn't fall into one of those two categories, you can expect the changes to have some effect on your engagement rate. Facebook even said so in its post: It wants to make the news feed more meaningful, even if that results in lower engagement rates in the short term.

How to keep the clicks coming

What's considered meaningful content differs from person to person, which makes avoiding changes like this one impossible: Some users will see your content, no matter how legitimate and useful, relegated to the bottom of their news feeds.

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That doesn't mean you have to accept defeat. In fact, this is the perfect time to reassess your social media presence to be sure it isn't violating Facebook's guidelines for what makes good content:

  • Use posts to inform: Don't withhold information from a Facebook post to force users to click through—that's the definition of clickbait, and it will be affected by the changes. A post to Facebook or other forms of social media should instead include a short summary of an article. Users should be driven to click on the link to get the details.
  • Set appropriate expectations: Don't use overly dramatic language, extreme adjectives, or make impossible claims. Tell the reader what to expect from a post, and while it's fair to give them a reason to get excited, don't make a claim to be changing the world if you aren't.
  • Use clear, accurate headlines: Users have told Facebook that exaggerated, misleading, or otherwise bad headlines frustrate them, and Facebook has listened. A headline that violates one of the first two bullets in this list will lead to "decreased post distribution for your Page," according to Facebook.

Don't get snoozed

Another business-relevant feature Facebook revealed in its post is the snooze feature. With it, users can hide people or pages they don't want to see, and Facebook will eliminate them from their feed for 30 days.

A business that gets snoozed will see drops in post engagement. A user that snoozes you because they're annoyed on Monday may not see a post that would have been relevant to them on Wednesday, so they don't click through or share—and that can be costly.

Avoiding a snooze means taking the previous points into account: If you don't want users to be frustrated with you, then don't do things they say are frustrating.

Facebook wants its users to experience added value, not simply to scroll passively through their news feeds, and if your business isn't doing that, you're likely to see the effects.


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About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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